How Hard Is It To Drive Formula 1 At Top Speed?

How Hard Is It To Drive Formula 1 At Top Speed

Formula 1 is by far the most intense and competitive racing league in the world of motorsport. Drivers compete at some of the highest speeds on the most challenging tracks against the other best drivers in the world. For many of the world’s top up-and-coming drives, their peak aspiration is to secure a seat with a Formula 1 team. But once that seat is secured, things only get more difficult. Formula 1 is an incredibly demanding sport. Formula 1 is so difficult because of these demands, both physical and mental, as well as the absolute precision required when driving at top speed. All these factors combined prove for a racing experience that is second to none in terms of difficulty.

Physical Demands

At top speed, Formula 1 cars are capable of pushing 200 miles per hour, and for drivers, this isn’t a comfortable experience. Formula 1 cockpits are small and uncomfortable to save space and weight. When driving at top speed, drivers also experience an incredible amount of g-force while braking, turning, and accelerating. Drivers regularly experience up to five Gs when they must go heavy on the brakes or during sweeping high-speed turns.

Experiencing such heavy forces is no easy task. To maintain composure in such an environment, drivers undergo constant physical training, making it easier to withstand the incredibly demanding physical side of Formula 1. Drivers also must cope with the intense heat in the cockpit coming from the engine, which is only made worse by their protective suit that, while protecting them from fire, incidentally makes them much hotter while driving.

Mental Demands

Naturally, driving a vehicle at close to 200 miles per hour in close proximity to other drivers is an incredibly stressful experience. As such, drivers are forced to train their mental fitness in order to stay calm and focused during a race. Drivers spend hours training their brains to concentrate fully on the race at hand, but also how to stay cool and collected during intense moments on track. This mental training also helps them to harness their competitive spirit and build from it. These skills are taught through a variety of techniques, exercises, and workshops, and sometimes even from things like Buddhism. Similarly, drivers are also required to have immaculate reflexes when driving at such high speeds, so they spend quite a bit of time training them as well. This required training simply goes to show how difficult it is to drive in Formula 1. 

Competitive Demands

With such hefty mental and physical demands present during a Formula 1 race, a driver must surmount them both with the goal of absolute precision. To be competitive in Formula 1, one must constantly chase perfection. Every slight miscue decreases one’s chances of success during a race, so drivers must be incredibly precise in everything they do. This includes getting a great start off the line, braking at the exact right times, and taking the perfect line around the track. If any of these things, or others, aren’t performed perfectly, the competition will pass a driver by.